In Defense of Harry Potter

The new Harry Potter film is an utter success.  Pulling in opening weekend sales of $125 million, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 begins the final stage of Harry Potter’s story.  Now, of course, Harry Potter attained an iconic status a long time ago, but following fame has always come the controversy that J.K. Rowling’s stories bring.

Many criticize the seeming advocacy of witchcraft and pagan religions, uncomfortable with the “innocent”  spin that the book/film series places on wizardry.

However, mycatholicblog.com found an article on christandpopculture.com in which author and pastor Drew Dixon defends the film’s morals:

What I loved about this movie was very similar to what I loved about the book: Harry’s previous exploits come together to aid him in his quest to do the impossible and I thought those elements were handled fairly throughout and beautifully in the end.  Lessons the three learned in previous adventures and friendships they formed are continually playing a part in their adventures and though the movie ends on a sad note, I thought it ended with a  tremendous amount of hope.  Harry’s example of self-sacrifice and bravery is emulated by an odd friend who makes for an unlikely hero.

This humble self-sacrifice reminded me of two things that are important for the Christian to remember.  First, if we are to battle the darkness of this world, we must do so by dying to self.  Second, people are always watching what we do, if we live humble lives of service to others, some of those people might just follow our example as we follow Christ.  Much like the world of The Deathly Hallows, ours is a very dark world but by faith and with the help of genuine friends, we can face it with determination.

Now, I saw the film and I am inclined to agree; through all the cinematic flash and imaginary elements, the feelings projected through the characters remained quite real.  I strongly sensed the love between friends, the respect for elders/professors, and the admirable bravery.  And like Dixon, I also left the cinema feeling hopeful!

Despite various background elements of the story (Hogwarts, magic, etc), the overriding moral that J.K. Rowling has always tried to convey is that one must choose the Good–no matter how difficult it may be.

Comments

  1. Emily Ward says:

    I finally saw this after everyone keeps raving about it. I agree, I thought the friendships and love between the characters was very touching.